The singer announces collaborative project to promote the brand.
At today’s BlackBerry 10 launch in New York, CEO Thorsten Heins announced that Alicia Keys would be joining the company’s ranks as their new Global Creative Director. The – fare thee well, RIM – has been desperate to shore up interest in its products and services to slow the downward spiral of its own stock, and it’s hoping that a famous face might inspire an uptick in sales. Celebrity executives are evidently all the rage, with Intel and Polaroid teaming up with and respectively and now Keys is the latest addition to the exclusive club of pop stars with impressive corporate titles.
In an occasionally awkward exchange, Keys and Heins discussed how BlackBerry lured the Grammy Award winning singer back into the fold after Keys, a longtime BlackBerry user, abandoned the company in favor of trendier options. Keys said that she had noticed "newer, hotter, sexier phones at the gym . . . but I always missed how you organized my life . . . so I started to have two phones, I was kind of playing the field . . now we're exclusively dating again!"
Keys’ Set the World on Fire Tour - sponsored by BlackBerry – is set to kick off in March and one of her first acts as Creative Director will be to produce videos to promote the brand with the help of her new BlackBerry Z10. Additionally, Keys will be spearheading the Keep Moving project, which aims to encourage productivity, social engagement, and creative enterprises through BlackBerry’s platforms. Writer Neil Gaiman and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez have also signed on board to produce content as a part of the project, though the nature of their endeavors remains to be seen.
Keys said she would be working closely with developers – a pronouncement that met with a few skeptical titters in the audience – and her own contacts in the music industry to promote the BlackBerry 10 platform. With a peck on the cheek that left Heins blushing, Keys exited the stage, jokingly telling Heins “I’ll see you at the office.” The laughter that met Heins’ response –“Yeah, Monday morning, 8 o’clock” – was a nod to the largely symbolic function of Keys' news position. Though Heins was clearly smitten, this morning might mean that investors are somewhat less charmed.